Four qualities bestowed upon
saints in Islam
Verse about prophets, truthful, faithful
refers to four qualities as the goal for believers
from the writings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Verse 4:69 of the Holy Quran states:
And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, they
are with those upon whom Allah bestowed favours from among the prophets
and the truthful (siddíq) and the faithful (shahíd)
and the righteous (sálih), and a goodly company are
The favours mentioned here are the ones that Muslims
ask for in their daily prayers, in the words of the Sura Fatiha,
Guide us on the right path, the path of those upon
whom You (O God) have bestowed favours. (1:56).
The verse 4:69 is put forward by the Qadianis in support of their
wrong doctrine that prophets can arise from among Muslims. It is
claimed that by obeying Allah and the Messenger a Muslim can become
a prophet just as he or she can become one of the truthful, faithful
or righteous ones.
We have translated below a lengthy explanation of this verse as
given by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. It is absolutely clear from
his explanation that the verse refers to the attainment of four
kinds of qualities by saints in Islam. The quality of the prophets
that they attain is the receiving of knowledge of the unseen from
God, which would, of course, be in the manner in which saints in
Islam receive revelation, and not as prophets. Hazrat Mirza has
repeatedly used the word ‘saint’ (singular: wali, plural:
auliya) and ‘sainthood’ (wilayat) in this writing,
and he has not even remotely suggested that this verse promises
that a Muslim can become a prophet.
His explanation is as follows.
Explanation of verse 4:69 by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam
It should be borne in mind
that a comprehensive knowledge of matters unseen is not granted
to those who do not have sound connections with God; and though
it is possible for such persons to have the occasional true dream
or true vision, but the necessary condition for sainthood (wilayat)
and acceptance by God is that unseen matters and hidden affairs
should be revealed to the person in much greater abundance than
to anyone else in the whole world, so that none can rival this abundance.
It is worth remembering that whenever Almighty God, out of His great
grace, bestows upon some person the robe and status of sainthood,
He grants him clear distinction over his peers and his contemporaries
in all of four things. And if such distinction is found in anyone,
then it becomes necessary to believe, surely and certainly, that
he is one of those perfect servants and exalted saints (auliya)
of God whom He has himself chosen and trained under His special
The four things that mark out the perfect saints (auliya)
and men of God are four qualities granted to them to serve as signs
and miracles. In each of these qualities they have a clear and plain
distinction over others; in fact, these accomplishments reach the
grade of miracles. Such a man is like the philosopher’s stone, and
only he reaches this rank who has, since eternity, been chosen to
benefit the world. The four qualities, which are as four signs or
miracles, and which distinguish one who is a great saint (wali)
and master and chief of the saints, are as follows.
First quality: receiving revelation
Firstly, matters of the unseen should, after supplication or by other
means, be disclosed to him in such abundance, and many prophecies
be fulfilled so clearly, that no other person could rival him in respect
of abundance of quantity and clarity of condition. And as regards
this abundance and clarity, it should be not only improbable, but
impossible, that someone else could have a share of these qualities.
That is to say, it should be entirely impossible that someone else
could parallel or rival these qualities in terms of secrets of the
unseen revealed, acceptance of his prayers and prior intimation of
the same to him, and signs of support that appear in heaven and earth.
And he should, by way of miracle and in an extraordinary manner, be
granted such Divine knowledge of the unseen, luminous visions and
heavenly support, as if a gigantic river were flowing and a glorious
light descending from heaven and spreading on the earth; and these
things should reach the stage where they appear to be miraculous and
unequalled in their time. This excellence is called the excellence
Second quality: truth
The second excellence that is necessary as a sign for the leader of
the saints and chief of the purified ones is the attainment of the
higher understanding and knowledge of the Quran. It is necessary to
remember that there is a lower, an average and a higher teaching of
the Quran. The higher teaching abounds in so much light of knowledge,
brightness of truth, true beauty, and virtue, that the lower or average
ability cannot possibly reach it. Only the possessors of the purest
nature, whose entirely luminous disposition draws light to itself,
attain to these truths.
So the first stage of sidq (truthfulness) that they attain
is aversion for worldly affairs and an instinctive dislike of what
is vain. After this condition is firmly established, the second
stage of sidq is reached which can be called zeal, enthusiasm
and turning towards God. And after this state is thoroughly established,
a third stage of sidq is attained which can be called the
greatest transformation, an entire cutting off, personal love, and
the rank of total self-effacement in Allah.
This having been deeply-rooted, the spirit of truth penetrates
the human being, and all pure truths and matters of knowledge of
a high order are revealed to him. There rises up in his heart, and
pours forth from his lips, the most profound and deep knowledge
of the Quran and points of the Shariah. And such secrets
and subtleties of the religion are disclosed to him as are inaccessible
to the intellects of the followers of customary and conventional
knowledge. This is because he is inspired by God, and the holy spirit
speaks within him. All inclinations to falsehood are cut out from
within him because he learns from the spirit, speaks according to
it, and by the spirit does he influence others.
In this state he is called siddiq (truthful) because
the darkness of falsehood entirely leaves him, and is substituted
by purity and the light of truth. The manifestation through him,
at this stage, of truths and matters of knowledge of a high order
is a sign of him. Having been fermented by the light of truth, his
holy teaching astonishes the world. People are wonder-struck by
his pious knowledge which stems from his self-effacement in Allah
and knowledge of the truth. This quality is called the quality of
siddiqiyya (lit. truthfulness).
It should be remembered that siddiq is one who both
has a complete knowledge of the Divine truths and acts on them perfectly
instinctively. For instance, he knows the true significance of matters
such as Divine unity, obedience to God, love of God, the obtaining
of complete riddance from worshipping others than God; the real
meaning of devotion to God, sincerity, repentance; and the essence
of moral virtues such as patience, trust in God, resignation to
Him, effacement in Him, truthfulness, fidelity, forgiveness, modesty,
honesty, trustworthiness, etc. And apart from having this knowledge,
he is well-established on all these virtues.
Third quality: being a witness of faith
The third excellence granted to the great saints is the rank of shahadah.
By this rank is meant that station where, by the strength of his
faith, man acquires such a belief in God and in the Day of Judgment
that it is as if he sees God with his own eyes. Then, with the blessing
of this conviction, the effort and exertion of doing righteous deeds
melts away, every Divinely-ordained fate appears sweet as honey to
his heart, and each trial is seen by him as a reward.
Hence shaheed is one who, by the strength of his faith,
beholds God, and enjoys like sweet honey the bitter fate ordained
by Him. This is why he is called shaheed. This rank
is a sign of the perfect believer.
Fourth quality: righteousness
There is also a fourth rank which is attained fully and completely
by the perfect saints and the purified ones: the rank of salihin
(lit. the righteous). A person is called salih when he becomes
inwardly cleared and purified of all wickedness, and with the removal
of all this putrid and filthy matter, the ecstasy of Divine worship
and contemplation reaches the highest degree. For, just as the taste
of the tongue is spoilt by physical illness, so is the sense of spiritual
flavour vitiated by spiritual ailments; and a person thus afflicted
feels no pleasure in Divine worship and contemplation, nor does he
have any enthusiasm, zeal or urge for it. On the other hand, the perfect
man is not only cleansed of all evil matter but this quality develops
so much within him as to appear as a sign and miracle.
These are, in short, the four grades, to try to attain to which
is the duty of every believer. The person who entirely lacks these,
lacks faith. This is why in the Sura Fatiha the Glorious
God has ordained for the Muslims this very prayer that they implore
Him for all these virtues. This prayer is: Guide us on the
right path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favours.
This verse has been explained at the other place in the Holy Quran
[4:69] where it is made clear that by those upon whom God has bestowed
favours are meant the prophets, the siddiq, the shaheed,
and the salih. The perfect man has all of these four qualities
combined in him.
Tiryaq al-Qulub, in Ruhani Khazain,
vol. 15, pages 417423.
Further on in the same book he reiterates:
In prayer we make this supplication:
Guide us on the right path, the path of those upon whom You (O
God) have bestowed favours. This just means that, for our spiritual
progress and for the good of humanity, we seek from God four kinds
of sign in the form of four attainments: the distinctive quality
of prophets, of those who are siddiq, of those who are
shaheed, and of those are salih. The particular
accomplishment of the prophet is that he should receive such knowledge
of the unseen from God as serves as a sign. The accomplishment
of the siddiq is that he should fully acquire the treasure
of truth, meaning that he should gain knowledge of the truths
of the Book of Allah so perfectly that they, being extraordinary,
serve as a sign and testify to the truth of the siddiq.
The accomplishment of the shaheed is that, at times of
distress, suffering and tribulations, he should show such strength
of faith, moral power and fortitude that, being extraordinary,
it serves as a sign. The accomplishment of the salih is
that he should be far removed from any kind of corruption and
be a model of being righteous so that his perfect righteousness,
being extraordinary, is acknowledged as a sign. These then are
the four kinds of attainments that we ask from God the Most High
five times a day in prayer. In other words, we ask for heavenly
signs from God; he who does not seek these does not have faith
either. The essence of our prayer is this seeking, which is that
five times a day we ask God for four signs of four forms.
Tiryaq al-Qulub, in Ruhani Khazain,
vol. 15, pages 515516.
Elsewhere Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad writes:
“The Holy Quran in the Sura
Fatiha gives us the hope of becoming the likes of prophets.
God exhorts us to pray to Him five times a day and beseech Him
as follows: ‘Guide us on the right path, the path of those upon
whom You have bestowed favours’, meaning O God, grant us the guidance
so that we may become the like of Adam safi-ullah, the
like of Seth nabi-ullah, the like of Noah the second Adam,
the like of Abraham khalil-ullah, the like of Moses kalim-ullah,
the like of Jesus ruh-ullah, and the like of Ahmad mujtaba
Muhammad mustafa habib-ullah, and be the like of every
siddiq and shaheed of the world.”
Izala Auham, p. 257; Ruhani Khazain,
vol. 3, p. 229.
It is the like of a prophet, and not a prophet, that
a Muslim is instructed to pray to become in the Sura Fatiha.
The Qadiani assertion that a Muslim is taught here to pray to become
a prophet is baseless.